Monday, December 13, 2010

The New Girl

There's a new girl in Cube City, and it shows. Due to the craptastic and seemingly bottomless recession, few people have left the company, and even fewer have joined.

But one who has recently joined is stunningly incompetent. With all the joblessness in this country, you'd think we could at least get a solid candidate in the door. Not so. The new girl doesn't have any idea what she's doing, and I'm trying to be patient, but it's hard. Her boss says to give her 6 to 9 months to learn the ropes.

I'm fine with giving someone time to learn, and I'm also fine with helping them along the way. It's when they don't know basic information, like the order of events they are supposed to be organizing so that we all get our work done on time, that I think, "This person spent a lot more time lying and selling herself in the interview than in learning the ropes once she got hired."

It's important to raise the flag in Cube City to save yourself because perceptions can change very quickly. The new girl is supposed to set up meetings and keep projects on track, but she acts like she has no idea what to do. So here's what happens. I miss meetings and people figure I'm too busy to attend. Uh, no, I was never invited and therefore was unaware that the meeting was taking place. So once I realize that I'm out of the loop, there's a two-hour meeting to get me up to speed on what I missed. Another example? A project is delayed for weeks, and I'm told not to start until someone gives me the green light. Then suddenly, on a Wednesday, the new girl says, "Hey, just looking to see where you are with this project because it's due tomorrow." WHUT?!!!

Luckily, a lot of people have had the same issues with the new girl. Otherwise, they'd think my work is slipping because of me, not because of her.

I hope to survive the new girl's learning curve. I hope she survives too because instead of teaching her the ropes, I'd like to strangle her with them. I've worked weekends to meet deadlines I didn't know about until the last minute...because of her. I've sacrificed vacation days to make up for her mistakes. And she doesn't even seem to be learning from her mistakes! It just makes me mad!

I suppose her being the new girl makes me the old girl, but I'm fine with that. It's the one time I'm okay with being old. New is not necessarily shiny or better.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

He Who Thinks No Thoughts

Lately, I've been working "with" the guy otherwise known as Anywhere But Here, and it's been challenging because, well, he's anywhere but here. Such is life sometimes in Cube City.

Luckily, I've also been working with an intelligent cube dweller who's had to deal with Anywhere But Here, and we've helped each other guess what he wants us to do. The intelligent cube dweller shared some pretty cool and relevant videos with me in hopes that they might spark some ideas for our project. She sent the video links to me through email and copied Anywhere But Here on the thread.

A few hours later, I noticed that Anywhere But Here was posting familiar, if not verbatim, quotes from those videos as his Facebook status! It was rather shocking and enlightening to see that he directly lifts his insights from other people's work. That's plagiarism!

It's amazing how perceptions can change in an instant. All this time, I thought he had interesting things to say about the marketplace. Now all I see is a criminal who can't think of his own thoughts. It's alarming.

This is just one example of why I choose to be blissfully unaware of most things in Cube City. I become really irritated when I accidentally become aware of the truth. I'm just glad that I am not Anywhere But Here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Anywhere But Here

I work with a guy in Cube City who is always missing in action.

Meetings? He shows up the first time and disappears for the remaining series of meetings...even though he's leading the project.

Conference calls? He doesn't dial in.

Emails? He doesn't respond.

He's supposed to be a leader who provides critical direction and feedback, but he does none of these things. Even his boss seems to support him by saying, "Sorry, but he can't be here today due to some personal stuff."

He always has personal stuff getting in the way! Don't we all? Separation of personal stuff and work, please. It must be nice to be grossly overpaid for being anywhere but here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Happiest Place on Earth

Two weeks ago, I recommended the perfect person for a project in Cube City. I was bombarded with panic-stricken but vague feedback -- news I couldn't use, basically.

"Not her!"

"I'm not sure she's the right fit."

"I have concerns."

I stood up for the person I recommended. I knew she was the one who could pull it off. I had absolutely no concerns about her taking the project and kicking major ass. So I didn't budge. She was the solution, and the doubters were just going to have to learn that they were the problem.

One week later, I received an email from someone on the project who couldn't say enough nice things about her. Finally, someone had lifted their finger from the panic button. Suddenly, the rollercoaster had stopped going up and down at lightning speed, and people were calm. The emailer said, "I know we all had concerns about her, but she's done an amazing job that has really pleased the client. I'm wowed by what she did with this in such a short amount of time!"

The emailer had copied the whole team of panic-stricken people on this positive message, but I replied only to the sender. I hate it when people generalize how the whole team feels when one person (that's me) clearly felt and stated otherwise. I replied, "Remember, I never had concerns about her. I knew she was the perfect fit and am so glad she made the client happy! Thanks for taking the time to give her a shout out and for supporting her along the way so that she could shine!" Kill 'em with kindness. I'm going to Disneyland.

Okay, so I'm feeling a little smug, but I just get so tired of the bullshit. I get so tired of how perception affects so many people in Cube City, and how I can't feel empowered because a bunch of boobs have to have a say about everything -- especially the things and people they know nothing about. This isn't Six Flags, where more flags equal more fun. People need to stop raising flags and start having more fun. At the very least, they need to grow up and give feedback that supports their concerns. If they can't do that one simple thing, it's time to get on board, buckle up, and prepare for a safe but enjoyable ride.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Time to Make the Doughnuts

Why are Mondays in Cube City so hard?

I work with a rather mentally and emotionally unstable man who just posted this on Facebook: "I love Mondays. They represent hope and renewal."

Okay, here are my problems with his statement:
  1. As previously mentioned, he's mentally and emotionally unstable.
  2. He's not even coming to work today. He's out on "personal business" (which, by the way, is where he usually is instead of being at work).
  3. Doesn't he have Mondays confused with Fridays?

I guess it's time to make the doughnuts, even though I already feel fried enough as it is.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Caveman

There is a guy in Cube City who's letting his hair grow out -- both on his head and on his face. His hair is so long all over that he actually combs his bangs back. His beard is shaggy and simply unkempt. He sort of looks like a caveman.

I don't know him well at all, so I can't tell him that he looks prehistoric. But I think those who do know him should enlighten him on the benefits of a makeover. He's a better looking man than that.

An updated look, especially for guys, is so easy. Even a caveman can do it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Breakthrough That Broke

Well, cube dwellers, His & Hers decided to pay a visit to Cube City yesterday. They gave us half a business day's notice and expected us to juggle our calendars to meet with them.

It was the longest day of my life.

They wanted to spend a few hours with us, in person instead of by phone, to tell us about a breakthrough they'd had during a long plane flight together. They said they had figured out what their company really was and what they wanted it to be. They also said they wanted to start promptly at 8:30.

My fellow cube dwellers and I busted our tails to get to the office on time, on a Monday, only to wait for 45 minutes or more for them to show up. (I think it was more and I just lost count after 45 minutes.) I felt like I was waiting for a doctor's appointment. A rectal exam, maybe. Yeah, that's it.

Once they finally showed up and hugged all of us (gross...and he smelled like he had slept in his clothes), they sat down and started bickering at each other. Seems like old times. It was clear that they had not had a breakthrough of any kind. He told her that she was making him crazy because he thought they were in agreement on things, and she was siding with us lowly cube dwellers -- you know, the ad agency they'd hired to help them out with this stuff? Maybe he was finally clarifying what he wanted, even though what he wanted was a really bad user experience.

We spent the day getting nowhere but pretending like we'd gotten somewhere, which was something we could have easily accomplished by phone. It's probably the typical client experience, but I have to say that a rectal exam would have been less painful and a lot more productive.